Please tell Back to School Divas a little bit about yourself and your back to school story. What made you go back to school? What makes your back to school experience unique? My name is Latagia Copeland-Tyronce and I am a long t...Read more
Please tell Back to School Divas a little bit about yourself and your back to school story. What made you go back to school? What makes your back to school experience unique?
My name is Latagia Copeland-Tyronce and I am a long time and well known parental rights activist, parent mentor/coach, child welfare reformist/abolitionist, writer, blogger, founder, president, and executive director of the National African American Families First and Preservation Association (also known as NAFPA). I am 33 years old and currently reside in Detroit MI though I am actually from Toledo Ohio. I am happily married to an ordained minister and gospel musician Mr. Laverne Tyronce Sr. I am the proud mother of eight (six girls and two boys ranging in age from 15 down to 3) and come from an extremely low-income family and background. I was a teen mom (I had my first daughter at 17) who dropped out of school in the 10th grade and decided to go back to school in my early twenties. I received my GED when I was 23 while pregnant with my 4th child and started college at 24 shortly after the death of my mother who was my only support system. I am a domestic violence survivor who unjustly lost seven of my children to the racist child welfare system in Ohio (which removes Black children sky-high rates and more than most other states) several years ago and while in college which leads me to become the macro social worker, writer/blogger and parental rights advocate and activist that I am today. My work, experiences, the story has been featured in several online and print publications including rising Magazine, Psychology Today, and SWHelper dot com. I become the first person in my family to graduate from college in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration with Honors from Mercy College of Ohio (I also have an associate’s degree in general studies as well as a minor in Psychology from the same institution). I recently graduated with my Masters in Social Work in 2018 from Wayne State University (I also have a graduate certificate from WSU and am currently pursuing another master’s degree and graduate certificate). Challenges that I experienced (many I still experience as a graduate student) and had to overcome include CPS involvement, mental health issues (grief, depression, and severe PTSD), homelessness, lack of support system, motherhood, chronic illness/pain, and new and other professional obligations outside of school such as being an activist, writer, advocate and running my organization. I believe that being a former foster child (studies concluded that less than 3 percent of all foster children graduate from college) as well as all that I have been through while pursuing my college and graduate school career is what makes my experience unique and inspiring to others.
Tell us about some time management, study, or money-saving tips that helped you make it to where you are in your journey.
I really didn’t have any other than find places (destruction-free zones) where you can study and do classwork. If you need help get it early don’t wait! I also always bought used books.
If you had to start over, what would you have done differently?
You can do whatever you put your mind to. If you start be prepared to finish. Have a plan A through C. Don’t let the costs stop you from pursuing your education. Don’t let things not being exactly the way you’d like them to stop you from starting school because you’ll never ever start as life and your situation will never be perfect.
The heart of our mission is to encourage other women on their back to school journeys. The goal of Featured Diva is to celebrate women who are making their academic dreams come true in hopes that other women will find encouragement to strive toward their goals.